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Dublin: 9°C Sunday 29 November 2020

'I thought you'd asked me that question' - Martin O'Neill involved in another tense interview with RTÉ

The Ireland boss has had a strained relationship with the media since the start of his reign.

MARTIN O’NEILL’S STRAINED relationship with the Irish media and in particular RTÉ reporter Tony O’Donoghue has been a recurring theme of his time in charge of the national team and that issue looks unlikely to change anytime soon on today’s evidence.

All the way back to O’Neill’s first competitive game in charge away to Georgia, the manager was palpably unimpressed with O’Donoghue’s line of questioning.

The 65-year-old coach was similarly tetchy, perhaps understandably so, after seeing his team lose 5-1 to Denmark in last November’s World Cup play-off.

O’Donoghue at the time asked if the result constituted a “humiliation” before a visibly agitated O’Neill cut the interview short (see below).

At the Nations League draw today, the tension between the pair was evident yet again.

O’Neill brought up the fact that O’Donoghue had said “hard luck” to him after the Denmark loss, claiming he was subsequently subjected to a “verbal attack” by the reporter, before asking whether O’Donoghue was being “disingenuous” with his off-air comments.

The Ireland boss was also not happy with O’Donoghue’s line of questioning this afternoon. When pressed on the validity of reports that O’Neill felt “stung” by criticism after the Danish defeat, the manager replied: “I thought you’d asked me that question. I thought I’d answered it.”

O’Neill added that the perception of the job he had done “elsewhere was actually very positive, unlike yourself”.

Watch the full interview RTÉ interview below.

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Paul Fennessy

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